Ryanair announces plans to cancel up to 50 flights per day across Europe. Find out which routes are affected and what this means for your Ryanair tickets.

You either love it or hate it. Of course those cheap ticket prices can be tempting, otherwise, how could you fly to Brussels return for under €4 or to Newcastle for a Fiver? And off you go on your short break with Ryanair. However, now Ryanair has announced its plans to cancel up to 50 flights per day and released a list with the affected ones. I will tell you all you need to know if you have a Ryanair ticket and if this will put your holiday in danger.

Ryanair cancelled 50 Flights per day

Why does Ryanair cancel 50 flights per day? | What has Norwegian Airlines and Air Berlin got to do with it? | Is my flight affected? | List of cancelled Ryanair flights | Will I get compensated?

Why does Ryanair cancel 50 flights per day?

On September, 15th Ryanair has already announced on their website the planned cancellation of flights. Up until the end of October, the airline plans to cancel 40-50 flights per day – but not only in Ireland but across their entire European routes. What is the reason behind it?

For the last few weeks and months Ryanair has been breaking records in revenue, especially in the busy Summer months, their flights are usually sold out. Exceptionally high passenger numbers, as well as a full schedule, have meant that this year has been a record year for the airline. However, this backfires on their punctuality: In the past year, 90% of Ryanair’s flights were on time, whereas this year only 80% landed according to schedule.  This is one reason why Ryanair have taken the actions that they have.

Robin Kiely, Head of Communications, explains their actions in this statement on their website:

We have operated a record schedule (and traffic numbers) during the peak summer months of July and August but must now allocate annual leave to pilots and cabin crew in September and October (while still running the bulk of our summer schedule).  This increased leave at a time of ATC capacity delays and strikes, has severely reduced our on-time performance over the past two weeks to under 80%.  By cancelling less than 2% of our flying programme over the next six weeks, (until our winter schedule starts in early November) we can improve the operational resilience of our schedules and restore punctuality to our annualised target of 90%. We apologise sincerely to the small number of customers affected by these cancellations, and will be doing our utmost to arrange alternative flights and/or full refunds for them.

This might seem like a valid point, however, why are so many pilots taking their holidays? Michael O’Leary assured that there is no shortage of pilots in general in the company, but that it is difficult to find enough coverage for the pilots on holidays. Yesterday afternoon at a press conference he admits:

“It is clearly a mess but in context of an operation where we operate more than 2,500 flights a day it is reasonably small” 

What has Norwegian Airlines and Air Berlin got to do with it?

In so far as the “non-existing” shortage of pilots this has been caused by the 140 pilots switching to Norwegian Airlines. It is unclear until now, but it doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the “mess” as O’Leary calls it is also caused due to the pilots leaving Ryanair.

Another speculation is that Ryanair is slowly preparing for making slots available to apply for the possible spaces from the struggling German airline Air Berlin. According to a German air travel expert, Ryanair could bet on an early bankruptcy of Air Berlin. So just in case, the airline won’t get bought on time, all Air Berlin flights have to be cancelled in advanced, which is called a “Grounding”. Then Germany would have to align all the departure and landing rights anew, but only airlines who have the capacity to fill those slots would be able to apply. As we know, Ryanair has not handed in an offer to buy Air Berlin, however, it could be argued that the airline has always had an eye on getting those slots from Air Berlin in the first place.

Is my flight affected?

You have probably been asking yourself whether your flight is affected or not. The good news is not too many flights departing from Ireland are affected. As I mentioned before, the cancellations are happening across all Ryanair routes in Europe. But to be sure, check out this list of Ryanair flights that are cancelled for this week:

List of cancelled Ryanair flights

Tuesday 19 Sep list of cancelled Ryanair flights

Tuesday 20 Sep list of cancelled Ryanair flights

Tuesday 21 – 24 Sep list of cancelled Ryanair flights

Tuesday 25 – 28 Sep list of cancelled Ryanair flights

I could only find flights departing Dublin that are cancelled, so the departure airports Kerry, Shannon, Cork and the rest should be fine.

Will I get compensated?

If you are one of the unlucky ones and your flight did get cancelled, then Ryanair should inform you 2 weeks in advance. If they inform you before that, the airline should re-route you to your destination by placing you on a different flight, or reimburse the money you paid for the flight.

If they informed you less than 14 days prior to your flight you may even be entitled to compensation from the airline as well:

  • €250 for a distance of 1500km or less
  • €400 for a distance of 1500km or more (within EU and all other routes between 1500 -3,500km)
  • €600  for a distance of more than 3,500km

However if an airline does cancel your flight less than 2 weeks in advance, there is still a chance you might not be compensated. This is if:

  • the airline re-routes you onto a flight that departs less than 2 hours before the departure time originally scheduled, and lands less than 4 hours after the original arrival time (when cancelled within 14 days)
  • the airline re-routes you onto a flight that departs less than 1 hour before the departure time originally scheduled and lands less than 2 hours after the original arrival time (when cancelled within 7 days)

*according to law as set out by Regulation (EC) No 261/2004

I am keeping my fingers crossed for you that you are not affected by this! But don’t get too nervous about it, of all the departing Ryanair flights it is still a small number that got cancelled. I will continue suggesting Ryanair flights, but will have a look at the list of cancelled flights, as it seems to be the same routes that get cancelled. Remember Ryanair gives you the right of compensation.

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